Gray's Journal

Friday, October 25, 2013

Top Five Food Trends In The Meeting Industry

Planning the menu for an upcoming meeting may seem like an easy task, but it's actually far from it. Food and beverage plays an important role in the success or failure of a meeting. Deciding on the menu or refreshment your attendees will enjoy can be one of the biggest decisions you, as a planner, will make when planning a meeting. But the great thing is that planners these days have a lot of options to choose from when making decisions for menu items.

Here are the top five food trends in the meeting industry this year:

1. SLOW food. 
(Sustainable Local Organic Wholesome) When planning your next meeting consider things such as seasonal availability, using local suppliers and buying environmentally friendly utensils and tableware. SLOW foods have become a big trend within the last few years, and you can be sure you are eating healthy.

2. Bite sizing. 
For a planner, smaller portions can mean a smaller price tag. Plus they are just so darn cute! You can take any of your favorites and shrink them to be eaten as tapas, hor d'oeuvres, or just small meals.

3. Internationally themed menus. 
Foods such as Thai, Indian, Mexican, Moroccan, etc. Along with an opportunity for chefs to get creative with unique ethnic ingredients while allowing local ethnic influences to take center stage. These themes can also open up ideas for themed teambuilding events and activities.

4. Food trucks
Haven't you seen them all over the place these days? So why not invite one to your next meeting. At the same price as most take-out restaurants, attendees can have their choice in menu options enjoying traditional street foods or gourmet burgers alike.

5. Interaction among meeting guests.
Look into teambuilding activities that play on Food Network shows like Top Chef, Chopped and Cupcake Wars. Cooking demonstrations and
cook-offs create the perfect environment for building relationships during the meeting and after it is over.

Food and beverage can say a lot about a meeting. As a planner, you have the option of making or breaking your meeting solely on the meals and refreshments. So make the most of your options and get creative!

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